If you want to keep your vehicle performing in optimal conditions, it is important to keep up with a few maintenance tips. Not only will caring for your vehicle now keep you safe and save you money, but it can also enhance reliability and performance. Many inspections can be done by yourself, which will not only save you money, but it will also save you time.
Instead of taking your vehicle into a mechanic for a daily or weekly inspection, there are a few ways to inspect your vehicle by yourself to make sure it is running properly. A daily or weekly inspection of your vehicle can save you time and money when or if something goes wrong. For example, knowing the different parts and components of your vehicle ensures you will be prepared to perform basic car maintenance should something change. If you hear an abnormal sound while you’re driving, you will have a better idea of what could be wrong if you are familiar with your vehicle and how it runs. While it may seem daunting to learn the parts of a vehicle under the hood, knowing some of the common parts of a vehicle can help you if something stops working properly.
Understand Warning Light Indicators
A quick glance at your vehicle’s manual will inform you of the warning light indicators that may appear. Knowing what some of the most important light indicators mean can save you time should one of them appear on your dashboard. Some of the indicators you should familiarize yourself with include: check engine light, service engine light, brake warning light, anti-lock braking systems (ABS) light, and oil warning light.
Check Tire Pressures and Rotate Tires
Tire balance and alignment as well as tire pressure impact the fuel economy, comfort, and handling of your vehicle. While your owner’s manual may give you a specific timeframe, a general rule of thumb is having your tires rotated ever 5,000 miles. Monitoring your tire pressure with a pressure gauge should be done weekly. Your vehicle’s owner’s manual will include the recommended tire pressure for your vehicle. You can also find the recommended tire pressure amount on the inside of the driver’s side door. In addition to tire pressure and alignment, checking tire tread depth can help your vehicle perform well in all weather conditions. Many tire manufacturers include a treadwear indicator on a new set of tires, which helps eliminate the hassle of guessing whether your tire treads are deep enough to help channel water away from the tires and maintain excellent ground condition in wet conditions.
One trick for checking your tire tread depth includes a penny or a quarter. For the penny test, simply insert a penny into your tire’s tread groove with Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it is time to replace your tires. Another trick is the quarter test. In this instance, simply insert a quarter upside down and facing you into the tire tread groove. If the tread does not reach Washington’s head, it is time to replace the tires.
Check Oil Levels and Engine Coolant Levels
Using an oil dipstick to evaluate the level of oil ensures there is no friction in your vehicle’s engine. If the level of oil is too low, it could lead to a significant reduction in engine performance. Your owner’s manual will tell you what time of oil your vehicle needs, whether it is regular, semi-synthetic, or fully synthetic. Engine coolant ensures the heat from your vehicle’s radiator and engine get released to prevent your engine from overheating.
Monitor Fuel Economy
Understanding the fuel economy of your vehicle will help you detect issues in performance. For example, tire pressure is directly related to fuel economy. If your tires are under-inflated or are not aligned properly, your fuel economy will decrease as your engine has to increase its power. Other influences on your vehicle’s fuel economy include sudden acceleration and deceleration as well as extra weight from towing and cargo. Having a better fuel economy means fewer stops at a gas station.
Replace windshield wipers
Windshield wipers do not last forever, and it is important to replace them every few months to ensure the best vision while driving. If you notice your windshield getting streaky after using your windshield wipers or a grating noise every time you turn them on, it is time to replace them.
At Sunset Auto Sales, we want to help you find the perfect vehicle at your perfect price. We also want to make sure you and your family are safe in your vehicle. View our inventory online and check out our blog for more helpful vehicle tips. For more information or to schedule a test drive, call 844-296-7762.